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commuter with room for 3 car seats

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


The love of my life, my red 2000 CRV, Red Rocket (named affecionately after the rocket in Little Einsteins) is giving me the signs that she might be ready to retire, slipping trasmition and such. I commute 40+ miles daily (fuel econonmy a +) and have to transport three small children and a dog (safety is a must). Because the CRV does not fit all three car seats I am currently switching cars with my husband (Pilot) as a part of my commute home. I'd really like to eliminate that part of the commute so something that can fit 3 carseats would be nice (all forward facing - one booster 2 convertables) I also like something that sits a little higher, so I'm not totally blinded at night. I should also mention that I am short (5'2" - this is about the height of most 12 year old boys) for that reason I've stuck to forign cars in the past (Toyota, Nissan, Honda), they seem to fit me a little better. I also want a car that I can keep for at least 10 years with minimal service or maintenance. And finally the overall size - I love the size of my CRV, I can park and drive it downtown and I feel like I have good visibility. My inclination is to stick with another CRV, but will I be disapointed when the new one isn't as perfect as Red Rocket - and what do I do with that third child?! The Mazda 5 has been recommended to me along with the Rav4. Is there something better out there??

Priorities: Safety & braking / Driving position & visibility / Reliability & durability

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Hatch / Wagon / SUV

Car Needs: Daily commuter / Family transporter

Primary Driver(s): Short driver

Need minimum of 5 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 30000
Maximum age: 3 years

Maximum price: US $ 17000

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Response from mkaresh

2:46 pm March 31, 2014

All three seats are full-size, or one or two are boosters? The latter, if you can use them, take up much less space.

I've struggled with this problem myself. Not too many compact, fun-to-drive vehicles with three rows. Virtually none other than the Mazda5, in fact.

The Mazda5 is agile, but doesn't have Mazda's latest powertrain technology or styling, so both fuel economy and aesthetics are marginal. The 2011 was the previous design, so a better exterior but a cheaper interior. Older ones had common problems with suspension parts. Either is still worth a look.

Anyone else have a different suggestion?


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